DEALINGS WITH OTHER RACES
ness of the influence of the family, and of simple and solitary pursuits, has also prevented the internal growth of vices. There is no outward influence to counteract it. Society in its turn contains no institution or principle that can interrupt its harmony. Their character and habits afford no room for any disturbance of the equality that reigns throughout the whole country. Hence there is no appreciable social strife or ambition.1
As has been said, both the Bataks and most of the Dayaks preserve the Benua character at bottom; but, unlike the Benua, they have elaborated their superstitions and their social habits, and have acquired some vicious propensities, such, as gambling, and the unnatural customs of head-hunting and cannibalism, though it is undeniable that the Bataks as a race have a greater prevalence of social virtues than most European nations, and that truth, honesty, hospitality, benevolence, chastity, absence of private crimes, are here found actually to co-exist even with cannibalism.2
The Benua nature, as we have already had occasion to notice, is also very recognisable in the Malays, although the pride and pretension engrafted upon it by Mohammedanism, the bold and active part which they have played in the modern history of the Archipelago, and the influence of courts formed on the Mohammedan model have obliterated much of its simplicity and all its artlessness.8
War is unknown to the Benua, as it is to the Berembun tribes. The Menangkabau Malays are rapidly increasing in the portion of the Peninsula occupied by them, and are even spreading over the
1 J. /. A. vol. i. pp. 292, 293.
2 3 Ibid. p. 293.